New Contract, Same Commitment

Monday evening, our school board unanimously approved a new contract for our local teachers association that will run through the 2018-2019 school year. I believe the agreement, along with the collaborative nature of our negotiations, demonstrate the commitment of both our school directors and our teachers to maintain the high quality of our educational programs in Conestoga Valley.

Rill Medal of Honor

CVH-137245-22270387One of the highest honors we can bestow on members of our school community is the Robert W. Rill Medal Of Honor. It is awarded annually during our commencement program to two graduating seniors and a member of our community. Here is how you can help.

Winter Weather Woes

As I write this, I’m watching the temperature climb into the 50s for the first time in months. I am ready for spring! But as welcome as the thaw may be, it also (hopefully) means an end to a winter season that has been difficult for our facilities.

Reactions to the Governor’s Budget

With this week’s winter weather, I have not had time to delve into the many details of Gov. Wolf’s budget proposals, but his address Tuesday has caused quite a stir. Many of the ideas involving education have been discussed for many years, but it is interesting to see all of them in one bold package. Here are some of my other reactions:

#BuckskinPride

#BuckskinPrideOurs is a school community of more than 4,300 students, 600 educators and professionals and more than 30,000 residents. With so many individuals involved in the life of our school, we are bound to have our ups and downs. And have we ever.

I have been reflecting lately on several of these experiences—and so often come away filled with Buckskin Pride.

Community Forum: Participate in the Process

Education funding was a major issue in his campaign, and this week Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled a proposal for $1 billion in new education funding paid for by an extraction tax on natural gas. Whatever the merits or demerits of the tax, the proposal shines a spotlight on school funding as school boards begin to craft spending plans for the 2015-2016 school year.

You can learn about the state of Conestoga Valley’s budget and the challenges we face in the coming years at our next Community Forum, on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at Fritz Elementary. I wanted to preview some of the issues we hope to discuss.

Funding Commission: Start at the Beginning

As you may have heard, our state Legislature formed a commission to study the way it contributes to school funding in the Commonwealth. My guest blogger today is Phyllis Heverly Flesher, director of administrative services, with some insight into how state funding affects CV and which changes to the funding formula could mean for our schools and our taxpayers. GGH

For years, lawmakers and advocates from across the political spectrum have pointed out a key fact: Pennsylvania’s public schools are significantly more reliant on local revenue sources than many states. One study showed that the Commonwealth is nearly 20 percent behind the national average in its share of school funding. PA ranks 42nd out of 50 states.

Focus on the Positive

You may have seen last week in our local media (links omitted) or heard in our community that prosecutors released new details about the death of Miss Mathewson. I want to echo some of the sentiments in reaction to this matter that Brownstown principal Dr. Andy Graybill communicated to parents earlier this week.